The best of the web: Interviewing McCarrick, leaving Orthodoxy, canonising Chesterton

Former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick (Getty Images)

McCarrick still doesn’t confess

Ruth Graham secured a world exclusive with her interview with former cardinal Theodore McCarrick for Slate.

Much of her piece explored the problem of what the Church should do with a disgraced prelate, and where to put him out of the public eye: he lives for the foreseeable future in a small Capuchin friary in the prairie town of Victoria, Kansas.

When she finally met Mr McCarrick – he was laicised in February – she found “a small man with a deeply hunched back” who “walked slowly down the wooden staircase” of the friary.

“He looked smaller and more stooped than he did in his last public appearance, but perhaps that was because this was the only time I had seen him without the elaborate vestments of clerical power.”

McCarrick still would not accept he had done anything wrong. “I’m not as bad as they paint me,” he said. “I do not believe that I did the things that they accused me of.” As for those who accused him of molesting seminarians, “I think that they were encouraged to do that,” McCarrick said.

His response to Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò’s “testimony” last August was that Viganò “was talking as a representative of the far Right, I think. I don’t want to say he’s a liar, but I think some of the bishops have said that he was not telling the truth.”

Why I converted from Orthodoxy

At the start of Gideon Lazar’s article for Clarifying Catholicism, he explained that at high school, “I looked into the evidence for Christianity, looking to refute it” – and ended up a believer, specifically an Orthodox.

Many of Lazar’s friends were Catholic, so he researched “Orthodox apologetics against Catholicism in an effort to prove that the Orthodox Church is the true Church” – and ended up converting to Catholicism.

Catholic missionary work impressed him far more than those of the Orthodox, where “there are a few saints that are famous for missions” – but really only two since the schism, neither of them particularly successful. This was compared with Catholicism’s “long and glorious history of missionary work”.

Lazar’s decision was also influenced by the Fatima apparitions, the fact that “there are large numbers of Eastern Catholics, but very few Western Rite Orthodox”, and “the disunity of Orthodoxy”.

Why we need St GK Chesterton

Dale Ahlquist at Crisis explained why “the world needs St Gilbert Keith Chesterton”.

“This was a good and holy man whose life and writings continue to point others to Christ in his fullness,” Ahlquist wrote. “That means, not only getting Catholic doctrine right, but also getting Catholic social teaching right. It means loving God and loving neighbour – the strange tension that seems to separate the Right and the Left, because neither side can manage to do both,” he added.

Chesterton, he said, “was famous for making friends out of enemies by being disarmingly civil and charming in debate.” We need St Gilbert now, as “controversy has
become vicious and cowardly and demeaning.”